Local RIDE THE ROCKIES Team Beats the Weather

8:30 a.m. Leaving The Cliffs.

8:30 a.m. Leaving The Cliffs.

Despite the massive weather system that has mere mortals by the throat, our local cyclists who constitute Team Silver Cliff/Westcliffe felt compelled to train today. The plan was to cycle from Canon City to Florence to Wetmore and on up the Hardscrabble to Westcliffe. The route is the same as the seventh and final day of Ride the Rockies which is only five weeks away.

The route is only 48 miles, but the elevation gain is 6,000 feet.  As Jim Remington said, “It’s not about the miles; it’s about the elevation.

Ride the Rockies, June 13 through June 20.

Ride the Rockies, June 13 through June 20.

The team drove down to Canon City under a glowering sky. Before leaving Canon for their cycle home, Brent Bruser offered what sounded like an invocation. Referencing his I-phone, he shared the Writer’s Almanac post for today, May 9.

The poem by Marge Piercy was titled “Hard Rain and Potent Thunder.”  Piercy’s poem begins: An elephant herd of storm clouds / trample overhead. The air vibrates / electrically. The wind is rough / as hide scraping my face.” No truer words were ever spoken. Looking skyward, the team nearly bowed their heads in prayer. The synchronicity was not lost on the riders.

left to right: Brent Bruser, Jim Remington, Lori Fox, John Potts, and Mark Dembosky

left to right: Brent Bruser, Jim Remington, Lori Fox, John Potts, and Mark Dembosky

Looking past the Wetmore Baptist Church Steeple.

Looking past the Wetmore Baptist Church Steeple.

By the time the team reached Wetmore, the weather was holding fast but barely. Dirty white mist hung over The Wet Mountains. It was anybody’s guess whether the team was going to get pelted with rain, sleet or snow.

Reaching MacKenzie Junction at 11:30, the team experienced a brief smattering of rain, but the sky promised more. Ominous, every-which-way clouds scudded along like spring-run-off. Above those clouds, solid, wet-sheep clouds hung heavy with water. And rising above the layered cake of clouds, dense, white, Everest clouds threatened.

By the time the team had reached the Bear Basin cut-off, the temperature had dropped to 39-degrees, and the sky had made good on its threat. The sleet looked like pinhead, Styrofoam pellets to me. Later I was told that snow pellets are called graupel.

We make 'em tough in our part of the country.

We make ’em tough in our part of the country.

Wet and cold, the team beat the clock and arrived in Westcliffe for a warming cuppa just before the snow took hold.

Team members James Gerhardt, Mark Stamper, and Lockett Pitman were unable to make this training ride. Jim Remington and John Potts are not officially RTR team members; however, their hearts are with the team and as time allows, Remington and Potts train with them.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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6 Responses to Local RIDE THE ROCKIES Team Beats the Weather

  1. marilynjh says:

    Gutsy.

    • timeout2 says:

      Gutsy, yes! And this coming from me, a person who gets winded cycling up-hill to Silver Cliff. Feel free to laugh. Yes, Silver Cliff is up-hill from Westcliffe.

  2. Thanks again, Doris – WOW these guys are tough.

    • timeout2 says:

      Thanks for reading, Tom. The guys (to say nothing of our lone woman, Lori Fox) are tough. I followed them closely and not one of them cracked. And a good majority of them are over or flirting with 70 years. Good role models. Deserving, I think, of a toast with your custom wine.

  3. bar scott says:

    Love this, and love the poetry element. Thanks for filling us in, Doris. I’m so proud of these guys!

  4. timeout2 says:

    Of all the poems that Brent could have read, his reading of Marge Piercy’s “Hard Rain… ” poem was right on target. And it did feel like a blessing.

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